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The Banshees Of Inisherin gets devastatingly good Pac-Man treatment

Give this free browser game a big hand

Irish drama The Banshees Of Inisherin walked home empty-handed on Sunday after being nominated for nine Academy Awards at the Oscars show. But the film shouldn’t be too sad since it’s received the biggest prize of all: a Pac-Man-like video game adaptation as a free game in your web browser. “It was an interesting challenge,” says Cogs & Marvel’s creative director, Jon Hozier-Byrne. “How can you tell a complex story in the simplest narrative form?” The answer is Banshees: The Game, a short, hilarious, 8-bit game that you can play right here.

Banshees: The Game distils the film’s plot. You play as a pixelated version of Brendan Gleeson’s character with a singular motive: get to the pub and grab a couple of pints. Annoyingly, Colin Farrell and his beautiful eyebrows are on a mission to repair your friendship, so you’ll need to avoid him, grab five fingers, and sneak to the pub on a Pac-Man grid. As you progress, other characters from the film join Farrell and take on the role of Pac-Man’s ghosts. Alas, you can’t eat the ghost stand-ins here, sadly, however much you want to.

A Banshees Of Inisherin-themed Pac-Man grid in Banshees: The Game
The menu screen for Level 1 of Banshees: The Game, showing Jenny the donkey in the corner

There’s a plucky retro soundtrack, which is always a treat, and Inisherin’s comedy isn’t lost in translation. Every time Farrell - or anyone - catches you, Gleeson’s distorted voice yells, “I don’t like you no more!” Transition screens also treat you to plot synopses such as: “The local gobshite is coming to talk your ears off!” I’ll be spending the rest of today trying to beat the game and see its last few jokes.

I can hear you guys wondering already, why aren’t there more video game homages to Oscar-nominated films? Turns out, 2023’s Oscars actually have plenty. Best Picture winner Everything Everywhere All At Once has inspired a rock-sim that’s appropriately named Be A Rock, coming to Steam at the end of March. Top Gun Maverick already has a crossover with Microsoft Flight Sim, while Ubisoft are adapting James Cameron’s sci-fi blockbuster into Avatar: Frontiers Of Pandora. And anyone who’s also watched Tar - the cerebral rumination of orchestra-based power dynamics featuring Cate Blanchett - will know that Monster Hunter is the perfect tie-in. I won't say why, though. You'll have to watch the film.

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About the Author
Kaan Serin avatar

Kaan Serin


Kaan is currently an English and Film student who spends more time thinking about food than his degree. Also, trying to cut down on sharing unprompted video game trivia.

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